FRANKFORT, Ky. – The “Thin Gray Line” has been beefed up with 41 new troopers who graduated from the Kentucky State Police Academy on Friday.
The latest class started with 64 cadets, all of whom had prior law enforcement experience. Twenty-three dropped out of the rigorous training.
The KSP is Kentucky’s top law enforcement agency, which was given the nickname “Thin Gray Line” in the 1960s when it moved to gray cruisers to match the gray uniforms of the troopers.
Because of their previous law enforcement experience, the overall training for the new troopers was cut to 12 weeks instead of the normal 23.
“It saves us money,” said KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders. “But more importantly, it gets troopers out there in half the time.”
Sanders told hundreds of family members and friends who were on hand for a ceremony in Frankfort that he feels like a proud father.
“Those of you who have been in the waiting room or the delivery room know what it’s like to see a child born,” he said. “I’m seeing 41 troopers born, and it makes me a very proud man.”
“My expectation of you is pretty simple,” Sanders said to the class. “I expect you to carry on the tradition of a Kentucky State Police trooper. You have a moral obligation.”
Trooper Matthew Parmley, who was the president and valedictorian of the class, said it takes a special person to be in law enforcement today.
“You have to have the heart and passion for it,” he said. “It’s not just a job; it’s a way of life.”
Parmley said the training was tough.
“Each one of our limits were tested and pushed beyond what we thought was possible numerous times,” he said. “And each one of us surprised ourselves.”
Parmley will be assigned to the London post.
The new troopers were formerly city police officers, deputy sheriffs, conservation officers, or commercial vehicle enforcement officers.
With the new troopers, the state police total workforce now stands at about 850.
“We had 34 retire last month and are looking for more retirements over the next few months,” Sanders said. “At one time, Kentucky State Police had over 1,000 troopers. We’re probably going to go down to about 800.”
Sanders said the next traditional cadet class is expected to begin in January. He urged anyone interested to apply.
On the net: www.kentuckystatepolice.org